Football coaching business launched at Plymouth's Goals soccer centre
YOUNG entrepreneur Gavin Seymour will reach his business goal tomorrow when he launches his football venture in partnership with a national soccer firm.
The 25-year-old, from Southway, is the brains behind the Football Coded Grading System, a soccer coaching assessment which he likens to the martial arts coloured belts grading.
And tomorrow he launches the business at the Goals five-a-side soccer centre in Outland Road.
The event will feature demonstrations, a discussion and a question-and-answer session.
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And from then on he will be running his coaching scheme at Goals, with Plymouth parents able to bring their children and track how their soccer skills are developing.
"It works in the way martial arts belts work, with different levels," Mr Seymour said. "There are 53 tests and 15 levels."
As children, or adults, develop skills such as passing, trapping, heading , shooting and ball control, they achieve accreditation and certificates, he explained, adding: "The tests are progressive, if they reach the highest level they have the technical equivalent of a professional player.
"This is for anyone playing football – male, female, any age, if they want to improve their footballing ability.
"They improve with the programme, and then utilise it with a team."
Mr Seymour has been working on his business plan for eight years, having previously worked for the Prozone football analysis company.
"My background is in football analysis, coaching and sports conditioning," he said. "I worked out that in football the key factor was the technical element.
"You can be an athlete, but that doesn't make you a football player.
"I wanted to find a way to understand how technique makes one player better than another."
Mr Seymour believes there has been too much emphasis in the British game on players' strength and fitness and not enough on technique – as evidenced by England's recent woeful showing in the World Cup and European Championship.
But he points to players such as Arsenal's Santi Cazorla, Chelsea's Juan Mata, Manchester City's David Silva, all being Spanish, and Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, as prime examples of smaller, more skilful footballers, who he cites as among the best in the Premier League.
"The focus on physique rather than technique has been a big factor, there has been too much emphasis on distance covered and not enough on technique," he said. "It's something I'm passionate about."
Last month, Mr Seymour was part of a British delegation sent to a four-day international youth business summit at Caserta, near Naples.
He was the only delegate chosen to promote his business idea at a symposium attended by Gina Pittella, vice president of the European Parliament, academics, MEPs, and Italian business leaders.
The summit was aimed at promoting ideas to increase entrepreneurship across the European Union.
Mr Seymour said: "I got to represent my city, promote my business idea, network with other like-minded young entrepreneurs from across the EU, speak at the prestigious showcase and meet the vice president of the European Parliament."
The young business brains were chosen following the UK-wide Ideas on the Move competition, organised by educational services provider Tellus Group, which has a Plymouth office at Mutley Plain.